July 30, 2007
Democratic Debate: See
No Jihad, Speak No Jihad
The unconventional method of asking questions in the so-called
Democratic presidential debate a week ago produced the same conventional
responses by the presidential hopefuls. We must end “Bush’s” war in Iraq
immediately. President Bush and the Republicans in Congress are to blame
for all of the nation’s problems. And more government is the answer to
Many of the responses to the YouTube-generated questions were filled
with the usual platitudes, pandering and “woulda-coulda-shoulda”
insights. Such as, “We should have had better intelligence information,
and I could have voted against funding the war in Iraq.” Well, we didn’t
have better intelligence information, and neither did the president. And
despite the shortcomings of the intelligence information, Iraq is a
newborn democracy struggling to survive with our help.
Void of any real highlights, the most noticeable lowlights of the
candidates’ YouTube exchange were Hillary Clinton’s reference to her
leadership experience as First Lady, and the glaring absence of any
reference to jihad or Islamic fascism by any of the presidential
With all due respect to Mrs. Clinton for the demands and
responsibilities of the First Lady, experience by osmosis has rarely
produced a great leader. Granted, good leaders can be developed with the
right kind of training and coaching in the right kinds of situations,
but born-great leaders are very rare. I would be very hesitant to fly on
a plane with a pilot who had only read the instructions manual and sat
in the co-pilot’s seat, while never having been the pilot of a plane.
Direct accountability for one’s decisions builds leadership ability and
Maybe Mrs. Clinton did learn by osmosis the art of political
redefinition from her husband, former President Bill Clinton. When Sen.
Clinton was asked how she would define a “liberal” and whether she was a
liberal or not, she did not answer the questions. Instead, she described
herself as a “modern progressive, someone who believes strongly in
individual rights and freedoms.” Let’s test this definition.
Mandated universal health care – where bureaucrats would eventually
choose your doctors (if you can find a doctor) and approve medical
procedures you are entitled to receive – sounds like less individual
rights. Taking profits (her words not mine) from successful businesses
to pay for universal health care, and raising taxes on the evil rich to
fund more government programs for the common good, sounds like less
freedom with my money. Obviously, I need help in understanding the
definition of a “modern progressive.”
CNN and the candidates wanted to appeal to an unconventional audience
with questions being submitted by way of YouTube videos. But it was very
troubling that there were no questions or comments by the candidates
about the bigger war against Islamic fascism. It was equally troubling
that there was no mention of the worldwide jihad declared against the
United States and all of western civilization by militant Muslim
extremists. The candidates are either naďve about the desire of militant
Muslims to kill us, or they choose not to bring it up, because it might
distract people’s attention away from their “Bush bashing”. I tend to
believe the latter.
Avoiding any subject that might suggest that President Bush is or was
right about something appears to be a Democratic talking-points mandate.
Bush has admittedly made many misjudgments about the handling of the
war, but if we were not fighting the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan,
we would be fighting them here on our soil.
That reality may eventually come to pass, and if it does, I would hope
that even a Democratic president could put politics aside and recognize
the biggest threat to our national security, Islamic fascism. Denial
that the enemy exists is not a winning strategy under any circumstances.
Osmosis and denial are not the signs of real leadership.
© 2007 North Star Writers
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